European pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) is a popular food fish and a promising aquaculture species in Europe (Dil 2008, Baekelandt et al. 2018). It is however highly sensitive to environmental and handling stressors in aquaculture (Dalsgaard et al. 2013, Baekelandt et al. 2018). This limits the intensification of its farming in recirculating aquaculture and aquaponic systems. These are production modes of growing interest for this species and of sustainable intensification of its cultivation (Steinberg et al. 2018). Plant bioactive compounds can be effective feed ingredients that reduce stress and improve fish growth and immunity, but few specific compounds have been identified and tested on pikeperch. Furthermore, plants also release exudates into the medium surrounding their roots, but their influence on an aquaponic system has not been studied to date.
The European INTERREG Research project PERCIPONIE is dedicated to the development of perciculture in aquaponic systems. One of the objectives of the project is to identify bioactive compounds emitted by plants cultivated in aquaponics, or as a food additive with beneficial effects on the growth and immunity of pikeperch. Other objectives of PERCIPONIE are to develop the fish polyculture in aquaponics and to model the dynamics of an aquaponic pilot system. Based on a cross-border consortium of partners, the project brings together stakeholders from research as well as the aquaculture industry for scientific excellence and applicability of results. The collaboration with regional aquaponic companies ensures technical and economic suitability for application.
Materials and Methods
The results of the first project stage will be presented. A systematic review of the literature from the fields of botany and aquaculture research, is conducted in order to i) identify molecules of interest for the growth and immunity of fish and the families of plants which produce these molecules of interest, either in their tissues or in the form of root exudates, ii) target plants of agronomic interest and / or having a potential positive effect on fish health as a food additive through bioactive molecules, iii) select plant species according to their suitability for hydroponics and iv) assess the compatibility of plants with the range of aquaponic systems involved in the project (from controlled environmental conditions and low species diversity to variable abiotic factors and a wide range of plant species). The results will feed into the other experiments of the PERCIPONIE project and will provide new information on understudied dynamics of aquaponic systems.
Baekelandt S, Redivo B, Mandiki SNM, Bournonville T, Houndji A, Bernard B, El Kertaoui N, Schmitz M, Fontaine P, Gardeur JN, Ledoré Y, Kestemont P (2018) Multifactorial analyses revealed optimal aquaculture modalities improving husbandry fitness without clear effect on stress and immune status of pikeperch Sander lucioperca. Gen Comp Endocrinol 258:194–204.
Dalsgaard J, Lund I, Thorarinsdottir R, Drengstig A, Arvonen K, Pedersen PB (2013) Farming different species in RAS in Nordic countries: Current status and future perspectives. Aquac Eng 53:2–13.
Dil H (2008) The European market of the pikeperch for human consumption. In: Percid fish culture, from research to production. Fontaine P, Kestemont P, Teletchea F, Wang N (eds) Presses Universitaires de Namur, Namur, Belgium
Steinberg K, Zimmermann J, Meyer S, Schulz C (2018) Start-up of recirculating aquaculture systems: How do water exchange rates influence pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) and water composition? Aquac Eng 83:151–159.